The backyard battles, as they’ve affectionately become known, weren’t just a test of 1-on-1 skill between Stephen and Seth Curry as they were growing up in the Charlotte, N.C., area. Household bragging rights were on the line, and more importantly, the winner got front-seat privileges to ride “shotgun” in Dell Curry’s mid-’90s black Mercedes Benz for the trio’s drive to their father’s Hornets home games.
“Our favorite thing to do as kids was get home from school as early as we could to ride to the game with Dad,” Seth Curry told The Vertical Podcast with Woj. Riding to the game with dad also meant they could sneak in a few shots at the Charlotte Coliseum.
Because of that childhood story, Under Armour created matching sneakers for Tuesday night’s matchup between the Golden State Warriors and the Dallas Mavericks. It’s the sixth time that Stephen and Seth faced each other in the NBA, and the first time they wore the special-edition shoes.
They wore the “Family Business” Under Armour Curry 3, with the elder Curry in his trusty mid-cut pair, and Seth in a low-top edition. The sneakers are styled in shades of Warriors royal blue and the Mavericks’ unique hue of light royal.
Fittingly, there’s a “Shotgun!!!” seatbelt graphic on the sockliner of each shoe, a playful nod to the front-seat prize from their childhood matchups. Each insole is also made of perforated butterscotch brown leather to mimic their father’s interior seats, with Stephen’s “SC” logo adorning the image of a seatbelt buckle.
“That’s epic!” exclaimed Steph after first seeing the detail.
The shoes also feature “LNDS” and “CCS” on the lace tips, honoring the Lake Norman Day School and Charlotte Christian School the brothers attended. As Seth recalled, the backyard games would get so fierce that their mother, Sonya, would often step in down the stretch.
“My mom used to have to come out and break up some fights and referee the game,” Seth told reporters Monday. “It gave us that competitive spirit that we have now.”
Stephen now leads head-to-head 6-0 after Tuesday night’s 112-87 Warriors win, but the matchups have taken on added meaning because Seth has elevated his game and emerged as a starting point guard with the Mavs. During Stephen’s back-to-back MVP seasons, Seth appeared in only 46 games in search of consistent playing time. He passed on interest from the Warriors and other teams earlier this summer as a free agent, eventually inking a two-year deal with Dallas.
“It was just about creating my own path,” Seth said on The Vertical Podcast. “I wanted a chance to grow my game and get better and step into the best possible situation for my career going forward.”
Since being named the Mavericks’ full-time starter after the All-Star break, Seth has seen his production rise, scoring a career-high 31 points on Feb. 24 against Minnesota.
When the two face off, the parents call it the “Curry Bowl.” Seth refers to it as “30 vs. 30,” and Stephen simply calls it “surreal.”
“That situation never gets old for me, whether he’s starting or just in the building,” Stephen told the media Monday night. “It’s so surreal to play against your brother in the NBA.”
In their sixth matchup, the brothers showcased an added link to their childhood as they both aspire to reach new heights in the league.